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W.Va. settlements don’t end Alpha’s legal troubles

Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Wrongful death lawsuits by families of 29 men killed in West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster have been resolved. But that doesn’t mean the days in court are over for Alpha Natural Resources.

The U.S. Department of Justice is still considering whether to pursue criminal prosecution of individuals who ran the former Massey Energy mine before it exploded in 2010.

When Virginia-based Alpha bought Massey last year, it also inherited a lawsuit by shareholders who say Massey misled them about its safety record before the nation’s worst mine disaster in 40 years.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, meanwhile, says he can’t predict whether or when charges could be filed.

He says he needs evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed _ and who committed it.

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